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Little Richard to be buried in Huntsville, Alabama

The singer will be buried at Oakwood University where he studied theology in the late 1950s

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Macon native Little Richard (born Richard Wayne Penniman) will be laid to rest next week in Alabama.

According to his cousin, Stanley Stewart, Penniman’s funeral will be held Wednesday, May 20 at noon EST at Oakwood Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Huntsville.

Stanley says Tedra Huston with the Little Richard House in Macon will be holding a press conference at 1 p.m. Saturday to announce the funeral.

They will be accepting flowers or tokens for Little Richard at his home until Monday, May 18, and they will be taken to the service in Huntsville.

Penniman died over the weekend at the age of 87.


Born on Dec. 5, 1932, he grew up in a house in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood in Macon.

An Atlanta Journal Constitution article says Sister Rosetta Tharpe overheard Penniman singing before her show at the Macon City Auditorium in fall 1947 and asked him to open for her.

From there, Penniman joined his first band and eventually released his most recognizable single, ‘Tutti Frutti,’ in 1955 at which point he relocated to California.

In the late 1950s, he felt God was telling him to turn away from secular music, so he enrolled at Oakwood University to study theology.

Oakwood University is a private, historically black Seventh-day Adventist university owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church


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